IndiBlogger Tata Nano Easy Shift AMT #FollowTheGenX Road Trip Experience

Being a Tech blogger, I attend a lot of launch events and press conferences, but trust me, it's just like sitting in a fancy hotel ballroom and staring at a guy, who is trying very hard to explain the product to us. So when I got a chance to go on a road trip with 24 most enterprising bloggers of India, I knew I was in for a treat. This post contains my complete experience while I was on the road with 23 other bloggers in Pune, riding all new Tata Nano Easy Shift while completing quests and challenges on the way. Sit back and relax, as this post contains more than 2500 words - It's a lengthy one but I'm sure you'll enjoy going through it, so I won't waste you time, let's begin.

How it All Began?

It was well over mid-night and I was wide awake when my phone suddenly gave a beep tone, notifying me of an incoming email. Since it was very late and I was trying hard to catch some sleep, I didn't bother looking at the email and decided to do that in the morning. After what it seemed like an hour, I was still fighting for some sleep but was failing miserable, maybe I was curious to know what the beep was about, so thinking that finding out will help me sleep, I picked up my phone and checked my Inbox. It showed 13 New Email's and the most recent one was from IndiBlogger. Without giving it a second thought, I immediately opened the email and read it loud in my mind. To my surprise, it was about a Road Trip in Pune with 24 most enterprising Bloggers in India, solving quests while on the road with the new Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift. The next thing which I remember is that I was struggling in darkness, filling in an application form for the Road Trip. From that moment itself, I started imagining me as one of the 24.

Two days later, when I was attending a lecture in my college, my phone rang in-between the lecture and everyone (including the lecturer) was giving me dirty stares. I picked up the call (yes, I did that in the lecture hall when the lecturer was not looking) and heard a women's voice, which I later found out was Swati from IndiBlogger. Though this call didn't confirm if I was selected for the Trip, but it did boosted my confidence a little. 

The Next day again while I was in college, I got a phone call from Ranjith, who congratulated me for being one of the 24 Most Enterprising Bloggers who will take up the GenX Road Trip in Pune. I was really happy that I made it to the list, yes you heard me right, they called me one of the most enterprising blogger, which I think is a fact ;)

So now that I made it to the list of Top 24, I was eagerly waiting for the day to come. We got text messages containing details of the bus, which would take us to Pune. The only problem was that it was going to leave at 6 in the morning.

Going to Pune!

The night before departure, I was wide awake, using my laptop when my eyes went on the clock which read 3:00 AM - A bad sign. In order to catch the bus in time, I had to leave home by 5:30 AM, which gave me 2 and half hour window. I took a short nap and woke up at 5:00 AM. After a cold shower, hot coffee and a quick 'what to wear' session, I was ready and it hardly took me 20 minutes to complete all of the above (I wonder Why it takes so long for women to get ready?) Anyways I left home at 5:30 AM, met Mohit (a fellow blogger friend, who was also among the 24) and headed to the National Park Gate, Borivali, from where the bus was about to leave at 6 AM. We boarded the bus and made ourselves comfortable on our seats. The Bus left a few minutes late but picked up the lost time on the way. One by one it stopped at the boarding points and in no time the 24 Most Enterprising Bloggers were on board, heading to Pune now.

Ranjith & Saurabh were the IndiBlogger Team members on board, and as soon as we were done with the refreshments, they started their ragging session. Each one of us was told to get up one-by-one and introduce ourselves to others. This session was interesting & funny at the same time and by the time we were done with the intros, we had already reached our first and only pit-stop which was Lonavala. The Bus halted there for ten to fifteen minutes, after which we once again took the road and started heading to Pune. After a 4 hour long Bus ride, we entered Tata Motors Lake House in Pune city. The place was damn beautiful, the Lake house had a big Lake garden, of course with a Lake in between, which I later found out to be a man-made lake containing treated water from Tata plant (Interesting) 

The GenX Experience

The Breakfast was kept on one side, We took advantage of this opportunity and filled our stomachs with delicious food. A few minutes later we were sitting in a conference hall, while Anoop from IndiBlooger took the stage (like any other IndiBlogger meet) and started the session. Again there was a round of introductions and here for the first time we met the bloggers from Pune. So after all that was done, Sachin from Tata Motors Team came on stage and took us through a short presentation, explaining the new features, design and other improvements of the new Tata Nano Easy Shift AMT car, the car which we were about to hit the road with. During the presentation, I came to know that the new Tata Nano Easy Shift uses Automated Manual Transmission which literally eliminates the clutch and gives you easy gear shifts. 
Flag Off Point
The presentation went on for a little longer than 30 minutes, after which another guy from Tata Motors named Dipanjan took the stage and explained what we were up to. This session sounded like a mission briefing, where we were told the rules and aims of the road trip, which we were about to head on. We were shown a map of Pune city which had the planned route, which we all supposed to follow during the road trip. The map had some pit-stops and refreshment points where we supposed to head while hitting the road with the new Nano car. All of the 24 bloggers were divided into seven teams named A, B, C and so on. Three of the teams had 3 bloggers and 1 person from Tata team, while the other four teams had 4 bloggers. Every team had multiple drivers and a navigator. My team (Team A aka Awesome) consisted for 3 people; Taran, Joylene and me (plus we had a person from Tata team) - In Team A, Joylene and Taran were the drivers and I was the navigator. 
Team A and a guy (I don't his name :P) - Ready to hit the road...
What was Navigator's Job? Well, navigator was the most important person in the team, yes, he really was ;) because he was the sole connection between the team and IndiBlogger. All navigators of the seven teams were added to a WhatsApp group, where they kept track of each other and posted their queries. WhatsApp group was also the source of challenges (more on this later). Also the navigators were connected to a server through GPS, helping IndiBlogger & Tata team to keep track of them.

So now that you know how important role I was playing (LOL) let's go ahead and talk about the Road trip, which was the most exciting part of the day.

Road Trip

So after the teams were made, we were given a Selfie-Stick and a Power bank each (So that we can take selfies during the road trip and power bank to charge our phone of course) We were forcefully made to sign a form (just kidding) - We did sign a form, after which we headed to the start point, where seven Tata Nano Easy Shift AMT cars were waiting for us. Each team got keys to one of the cars and after a short test drive inside the premises, we headed to the Flag off point and got out of the premises and were on the highway in no time. Interestingly our team was the first one to start the trip and as we headed to the first checkpoint, the challenges started flowing. 

At the conference, we were told that people from all-over-India were tracking us on the IndiBlogger website and will throw in some challenges on twitter, while we are on the ride. The aim for every team was to complete as many challenges as possible and reply back with the photo/video declaring that you've completed the challenge. To make picking challenges simple, IndiBlogger team were continuously picking out the challenges and posting them on the navigator's WhatsApp group, so our goal was to complete the challenges which show up in the group and reply the tweet of the respective person with evidence showing completion of the challenge. Below are the challenges we got during our road trip.


Challenges given by the People of India

People from all-over-India participated in this and threw some funny but weird challenges at us. Below are the challenges which were picked up by IndiBlogger and made up to the WhatsApp group.

Challenge 1

Challenge completed by Team A | Proof of completion

Challenge 2
Challenge completed by Team A | Proof of completion

Challenge 3
Challenge completed by Team A | Proof of completion

Challenge 4
Challenge completed by Team A | Proof of completion

Challenge 5
Challenge completed by Team A | Proof of completion

Challenge 6

On the Backseat, Fight an Arm-Wrestling Battle (Best of 3) and post a video.

Challenge completed by Team A | Proof of completion

So that's it, these were the challenges which we completed during our Road trip in Pune. 


Lunch Break

After a round trip with one pit-stop, finally we reached our first destination and refreshment point, the Mezza9 lounge in Pune city. This was a rest cum lunch break, soft drinks were served over snacks, bloggers took over the entire space, there was lunch in one area and drinks on the other. The break lasted about an hour, everyone had their lunch and drinks, rested for a good number of minutes before we can head back to the next check-point. By this time it was late afternoon, we hopped into our respective cars and once again were back on the road. Till here we've successfully completed all the challenges we were given, from here on we only had to complete challenges given by Tata Motors team, below are the additional challenges. 

Additional Challenges

There were some other challenges as well. These were from Tata Motors team itself, we also completed these challenges during the trip. Below are the challenges thrown by Tata Motors.

First One,

Second challenge,

Final Challenge,

Pit-Stop 2 : Infinity Track

By the time we were done with all the crazy, weird, funny, interesting and insane challenges, we finally reached the second pit-stop of the trip, the Infinity track. The Infinity track is a track built inside Tata Motors premises where the cars are tested. All the team drivers were told to take a drive on the Infinity shaped track before heading back to the Tata Motors Lake House. Below is the picture showing the Infinity track.
Infinity Track at Tata Motors (Pune)

The Nano Experience

This was my first ride in a Tata Nano car and trust me, this road trip cleared many of the misconceptions about the car. Being a Tall guy, I always used to think that I won't be able to sit comfortably in Tata Nano but I was wrong. Tata Nano Easy Shift AMT provided enough leg space for me to comfortably enjoy a long road trip without any problems. Another thing which I loved about the car was it's heavy duty suspension system, even when the car hopped over a speed breaker or entered a pot-hole, there weren't any humps or jerks. The overall ride was smooth and glitch free. 
Tata Nano Easy Shift AMT (Image credit: http://auto.ndtv.com)

The interiors of Tata Nano were nicely done, the trunk had enough space to easily fit two medium sized suitcases. The Air conditioning was no doubt better than many cars in this price range. Coming to the AMT or Automated Manual Transmission system, this made the car very easy to drive (since there was no clutch) and the short radius turn capability made the car easier to turn on sharp bends and when there is not much room. The Music system installed in Nano Easy Shift consists of four speakers, two on the front dash board and two at the back, when played together, makes Nano perfect for the music experience. The hatch on the back is open-able now and there are many new colors availabe to select from. 


Back to the Lake House

Tata Lake House, Pune
After a day long road trip, finally we were back at the Tata Motors Lake House (the place from where we started earlier that day) - It was 5:00 in the evening and we were tired. The Lake House did it's job in refreshing our minds and blowing away that tiredness. To our surprise, Tata Motors & IndiBlogger had already planned a surprise for us. While evening snacks were served with tea, Mr.Varun Venkit from Taal Inc. played Drums to energize us and raised the spirits. Not only that, then we sat on the chairs in a circle with a percussion instrument called Djembe (like a Conga) and took out all the stress with the rhythmic patterns provided by Varun. We played different rhythms for a good number of minutes, after which we thanked him for making our evening so much better.

Heading Home

A Group Shot (Some Bloggers are missing in this one)

After the rocking Drum session, it was time to say goodbye. We posed for some group shots before we boarded the bus which took us back to Mumbai. The overall experience of this whole trip was amazing and unforgettable. Throughout I interacted with amazing bloggers & people, made new friends and had lots of fun. This was my overall experience with IndiBlogger's Tata Nano #FollowTheGenX Road Trip in Pune, I hope you had fun reading this post, I agree it's a heck of a long one, but still I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoyed reading it. 

This is how a well spent day ended.
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About Jimmie Luthra

Jim Luthra is a Third Officer in Merchant Navy and Chief Editor of The-Area51.com, He is a Blogger, Guitarist, Painter, Book Lover, Tech Geek, Basket Ball Lover, Traveller and Fitness Freak. He loves Traveling and Adeventure Sports.
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